Brandy's Reviews > Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading

Shelf Discovery by Lizzie Skurnick
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's review
Aug 06, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2009, collections-anthologies, library, non-fiction, adult
Read in August, 2009

I'm about halfway through this (it's a hard book to read cover-to-cover, straight through) and frankly I'm a little disappointed in it. I don't know what I was looking for, exactly--insightful essays about the cultural significance of each title, maybe?--but this isn't it. Mostly each entry reads as a lengthy plot synopsis, though written with snark and affection in roughly equal measures. When they entries are on books you also know and love, you don't really notice the detailed plot so much (it's almost like talking to a friend about books you both loved), but the straight synopsis becomes really obvious when you hit a string of books you've never read.

It may pick up. It's fun enough, but it's not going to stick with me. It's nice to know that other people loved these books, too (even the dumb ones) (uh, the dumb books, that is, not that dumb people loved these, though maybe they did), but there's not a whole lot here.

**Now that I'm finished: I think what's not really doing it for me is that this book is subtitled "A reading memoir," and yet doesn't have all that much content I'd consider memoir-ish. So it's not really what I was expecting--the personal content to it is mostly "man, I loved this book" without a whole lot of information beyond that.

Overall: it's okay, and worth a skim from pretty much any readers who are around my age (there are definitely some titles here you'll recognize, and agree with any snarking comments Skurnick makes), but it's not something I'd catapult to the top of your to-read list.
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